Freedom of choice is a popular idea. /Mostly/ it is associated with
markets. /Usually/ when we hear the word “freedom” market automatically
comes into our minds. We distribute things through the market. We, the
consumer, buy things by paying money to the sellers in the market. If
you want soap, you can go to the market and ask for a soap. Shopkeepers
give you one when you pay money.
*What’s in a market*
Let’s say that initially there is only one company that produces one
type of soap which is available in the market. For you it doesn’t
matter. After all, the purpose of soap is clean your body. Sometimes it
causes you skin allergy or some other issues. You may stop or reduce its
use or you may find a workaround to fix/address the issue. Life goes on.
Then, after some time, a new company comes up with a new kind of soap.
You will be happy to test it and will have found it’s better than the
first one. So now you have the ‘freedom’ to choose the new product
that’s in the market.
Later a 3^rd company comes into the picture. Now there is competition in
the market. More and more products appear in the market. Companies are
using advertisement to promote their product. Initially they were
telling the properties of the product. But now they are selling a
lifestyle. You buy a product that has your favorite star as brand
ambassador. You want to be with that specific class of people. It’s
beautifully mentioned in the book /No Logo/.
But in some communities people don’t have the ability to choose products
as they’re absent from the market. There, the government is distributing
goods as a ration, or limited bases. Sometimes it may be with good
intentions that with limited resources they are trying to provide
maximum utilization, with intended justice to all. Sometime the rulers
may be looting and nothing will be left for people.
Whatever the reason, you see 2 types of market. That makes you think,
“which is better?” Market with choice or market without choice? That
becomes the million-dollar question to most. Of course all people will
support a market with choice. Problem solved. Everything is fine. All of
you people, go home.
*Reality of Market Freedom*
This is the propaganda of the ruling class, intended to hide the facts
and distract us from the real freedom. They always do this. Invert ideas
that empower people. Lot of things happen when you say “freedom” to mean
freedom to choose.
First of all, your action is only a choice between a number of things.
You don’t have a say. Just choose whatever is available. That makes you
just a passive subject. For that you have to pay. That part, most of the
time, will not be visible in the PR work. Those who provide the choices
become more important than others. You worship them. Protecting the
integrity of them becomes a responsibility for you. They can exert
pressure on you. These things /all/ happen invisibly. You will not
If you consider “freedom” the ability to choose or opportunity to choose
a product in the market, then you are undermining the very meaning of
freedom. It makes us old passive slaves who just obey the rulers. There
is no question about the product, there are no questions about its
content, no questions about its price, no questions about the market.
All we can do is choose one or another. It’s a dictatorship.
So freedom is /not/ an ability to choose.
*What is Freedom?*
Initially all are free within the limits of nature. Then human
institutions like slavery and religion impose restrictions and limits
upon humans. After that the word “freedom” comes into existence. People
want to break that chain, as everyone wishes to be an independent person
who can do whatever s/he wants, just like the ruling class. Meaning, all
should get the same opportunity to define the society.
Freedom is not a buying process. It’s the ability, for example, to
define what buying is, define what the market is, define what the
product is, even define what money is. But the reality is that we are
living in times where we don’t even have the right to know what content
is in the foods we eat.
So please don’t get so easily fooled by these games — or words created
by the ruling class. Freedom is about people’s power in the society. Not
the 1%. It’s about who is in charge.
*Fight for freedom is a never-ending task*
Because the ruling class will always try and perpetually tries to
undermine it for their self interest.
They already came in 100s of groups and companies with 100s of different
tactics. Most of the time a freedom-loving majority could not understand
these attacks. This is true for the Free software movement as well as
other freedom movements experienced. In the case of the Free Software
Foundation, it came to such a low level that they fired their own
founder based on some lies.
So, we should understand that our freedom is not somebody else’s charity
or favour. It’s a result of our painful struggle for it. To keep the
freedom as it is we need always be vigilant and active. Do not get
fooled by the tricks they play to enslave us. Free software’s freedom is
not a freedom of choice. It’s the freedom of users to take control of
software. Let’s unite to defend software users’ freedom. Long live the 4
freedoms of software.
*Nullius in verba*
Written by: Jagadees.S
CC BY-ND 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0/>
Having read through the long "Turning GNU into a bottom-up organization"
thread, I have decided to join this mailing list and express support for
GNU (as it has evolved over the past 35 years) and its chief GNUisance,
RMS, as well as criticism of what I perceive as this latest iteration in
the power grab within GNU.
*First, my reasons for supporting RMS:*
* I support RMS because he has spent a lifetime selflessly and
successfully championing the Free Software Movement and GNU, which he
* I support RMS because he is intransigent and blunt when it comes to
his principles and ethics, and his principles and ethics in the area of
free software intersect with my own. I have not met many others I would
want in such an important and difficult position, except perhaps Eben
* I support RMS because he does not thirst for power and because he
takes no visible pleasure in being a "leader"; it is partly because of
this, I believe, that his project has survived all attempts to coopt it
for 35 years.
* I support RMS because in his personal and professional life, he takes
the consequences of his ethical principles as regards to free software
to their logical conclusions; this requires a very clear mind; much
fortitude; and either extreme discipline, a rare natural predisposition,
* I support RMS because, having followed the Emacs and Org Mode mailing
lists for years, I have witnessed first hand some of his timely and
measured interactions to keep those programs true to the free software
philosophy, and then I have watched him step back.
* I support RMS because _every single time_ I have communicated with him
over the years he has treated me seriously and responded in a thoughtful
and timely manner. Not only do I feel that RMS does not exclude people,
I feel that he goes out of his way to be extremely inclusive.
*Now, to express my criticism of the "buttom-up" thread:*
The main arguments I hear from those in favor of changes within GNU are
being made under the auspices of care for the continued success of GNU
and the Free Software Movement. One of the detractors complained things
were amiss since he joined GNU eight years ago, yet he voluntarily
joined then, and continued to be a part of it until today.
I hear proposals for GNU to emulate Debian's social contract because it
worked so well for Debian, yet Debian is not an FSF endorsed free
distribution because it creates space for proprietary software to
coesist with free software by splintering the inconvenient
non-free-software packages into a separate repository while making them
accessible and promoting them in their documentation and installer. I
would prefer for Debian to fully follow the GNU philosophy instead, and
I would expect that anyone who understands and adheres to the philosophy
of GNU would also prefer this.
Above all else though, there is one thing that baffles me about this
thread, proposing fundamental changes in the governance of GNU, while
posing as defenders of GNU: I don't see anybody including RMS in the
conversations and I don't read anything written by RMS for this thread.
What I do see are some of the same names that signed the "joint
statement on the GNU project", which was posted when RMS was being
defamed and is still up at the Guix subdomain of GNU: shame on you.
What I do see are volunteers trying to opportunistically derail the Free
Software Movement at a moment of perceived weakness for RMS. I read
concerns about the eventual death of RMS to the survival of GNU, yet RMS
is not dead yet, and these detractors are trying to push him out while
he's still alive. I have deep concerns about the day RMS stops being
involved in the Free Software Movement, but that is hardly an argument
to push him out while he's still active and involved.
What I also see is a list of thirty men pretending that the leader of
the movement they volunteer for excludes women, yet I cannot find the
name of a single woman (forgive me if I missed it) in your list. I know
there are women participating in GNU, so the question is, were none of
them willing to participate in your power grab?
What I also see is a disingenuous statement saying RMS's role as founder
and leader of the Free Software movement for the past 35 years
undermined the empowerment of all computer users, hyperlinking to the
GNU Manifesto, without explaining how this is so. From where I sit, it
was precisely RMS's creation and continuous leadership of the Free
Software Movement that gave us a free software alternative at all. From
where I sit I do not see that Free Software excludes anyone from using
it freely. Am I missing something?
To conclude, I would like to thank the detractors from the "bottom-up"
thread and other recent oafish efforts to oust RMS; you have caused me
to take a more active role in supporting GNU; you have awoken in me a
desire to defend GNU, RMS, and the Free Software Movement from
derailment; and I thank you for that. I hope your actions help to
activate many other silent supporters.
I would like to reiterate my support for the way that RMS leads GNU, and
I would like to publicly thank him for his extraordinary continued
dedication to his life long project, without which our world would be a
darker place today: Hip, hip, hooray! Hip, hip, hooray! Hip, hip, hooray!
Dne 21. 10. 19 v 17:08 Mark Wielaard napsal(a):
> In practice GNU already is mostly a bottom-up organization, where the
> GNU hackers that do the actual work shape the project, but it would be
> nice to make it more formally so.
The problem with this approach is the risk of hostile takeover. There
are corporations (e.g. those that profit from proprietary
software/cloud) or governments of countries like China, Russia or USA
(with their secret services and agencies) that have almost unlimited
(from our point of view) financial and developers resources – which
allows them to bend such organization according to their needs.
In this context, it is also important to mention, that it is not
required to „agree with the GNU Project's free software principles, its
goals or its policies to participate in the GNU Project“
i.e. there is no guarantee that contributors are faithful to free
software ideas and that they always work for the benefit of users and
So if this is to have a chance of success, there must be a rigid
(immutable) constitution which guarantees the principles in the long
term. (Sure, immutability has its pitfalls, but if the principles are to
change, it is necessary to come up with a new name – the words like free
software, FSF or GNU must not be reused for a different purpose).
We have the GNU Manifesto <https://www.gnu.org/gnu/manifesto.html> and
the Free Software Definition
<https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html>. Maybe they should be
transformed into a constitutional document (while retaining the original
meaning, of course).
Hello, my name is A. Gabriel P. Caselles.
Im from Spain and I want to show my support for Richard Matthew Stallman
against the actual witch hunt that he is suffering.
Thanks for your work, I will continue doing my best to counter this madness.
Luis Sandoval (luysess), Agronomist.
I'm a free software enthusiast.
Richard M. Stallman is the soul of Free Software. A soulless being is but a wandering corpse. Richard must re-chair the FSF.
Enviado desde mi smartphone Samsung Galaxy.